End of Joy

My death was unfathomable to me. To know I would eventually die of love rather than the hate I was subjected to. My death wasn't long and agonizing, it was actually rather quick, at least the death part was. I was murdered because I was rediscovering Joy. However, I went through a lot of misery first.

Crushed. That's the perfect word for what my physical and mental state was. I did my best at covering the pain and bruises, attempting to make explanations for what couldn't be hidden. The worst injury wasn't physical. I know it sounds cliché but, it was my broken heart, which I don't think was complete to begin with. By the time someone tried to help me recover it was already too late.

I suppose this is confusing to you right now. For your benefit I will go back to the beginning, which now is only a long forgotten memory.

I was the product of a drunken one-night stand. My mom and dad had known each other before they conceived me but, it took a high school party to get them together. It was the summer after their senior year, they were only dating for about two weeks before they broke up. The cause of their split up was my mom telling my dad she was pregnant with his kid. Lets just say he didn't take the news well. After that summer he left for college across the country, he might as well vanished from the face of the planet. My mom decided to keep me and she always tried her best when it came to raising me.

On a snowy February sixteenth an eighteen year old Hope gave birth to a seven pound six ounce girl she named Joy. She gave birth to me. She always wanted the best for me, and I know she tried. She never wanted me to endure the pain I had too. However, my mom couldn't see the future, I'm sure that if she could I would have been given up for a loving couple to adopt.

Hope worked a full-time job and two part-time jobs when she could find somebody to watch me. I could often be found at a daycare or with a babysitter from the time I was born until I was two. My young mother was often waitressingtrying to save up her tips. It was on one of these routine days that our lives changed forever when, a certain man walked into the restaurant Hope was currently working at.

No, not my father, though I'm sure that would have been better in the long run. When Nate first started dating Hope she was twenty years old and she didn't tell him about her daughter, Joy. After three months of dating twenty-five year old Nate, he learned about little Joy. Only being two years old I don't remember what happened, but I do remember what my mom told me. Nate yelled at Mom for awhile then he left. Too bad he didn't stay away for good. After only one week he came back and apologized to my mother.

For as long as I could remember, we lived with Nate. When I was six I was the flower girl in a wedding. Twenty-four year old Hope and twenty-nine year old Nate's wedding to be specific. That was when Nate adopted me and became my step-father. I remember my mom was so happy and joyful after they were married. Unfortunately, joy doesn't last forever, my life is a perfect example of that fact. Ironic my life so full of misery and despair yet, my label is Joy.

Just four months after Nate and Hope's wedding my mother began to die. At the age of twenty-four Hope was diagnosed with brain cancer. Usually, Mom was a fighter but, the more she fought the cancer the faster she became weaker. Hope died a year after being diagnosed. At seven years old, my mother, my protector, was gone from my life forever. The moment I was left with Nate, my life was doomed. All hope was gone.

At first, I was completely devastated, but eventually I just stopped feeling. I became numb to emotions. The first few years of living with Nate were fine, besides the obvious fact that my mother died. Nate treated me decent in those years, at that time I didn't hate him. On my twelfth birthday my life changed drastically, yet again.

"So, what do you wish for this year, Joy?" Nate asked.

"I want hope back… I want Mom back," I responded.

That was when he slapped me across the face. I was shocked, that was the first time he had ever hit me. After my birthday he would beat me almost every day. A month passed before I figured out what triggered Nate's actions.

Whenever I reminded him of my mom he would get angry. After awhile the littlest thing could set him off. Eventually, he didn't even need a reason he would just enter my room and start the brutality again. I went through the abuse for three years before things changed, by this time I was a freshman in high school.

My classmates all thought I was a suicidal freak. They knew Hope died and they thought I was going to kill myself over it. They also thought I was a freak because of my appearance and behavior. I always wore long-sleeved shirts and long pants, even in the warmer months, in an attempt to cover my bruises and scars. I grew out my dark brown hair and let it hang in my face to cover any evidence Nate left there. I never said much to anyone. Nate always threatened that he would kill me if I told anybody. I was afraid I would let something slip if I talked to them.

One day, there was a new kid in my first hour class and he just happened to sit next to me. I unknowingly changed my life, once again, when I talked to him.

"Hey, I'm Croy," the new kid said. Croy was sitting down, but standing up he was probably almost six feet tall. He had dark brown hair that was long and messy. It hung in his eyes making it difficult to see them. He had lightly tanned skin and freckles across the bridge of his nose.

I realized after a few seconds of Croy staring at me, that he was expecting my name.

"Joy," I said in my usual quiet tone, completely void of all emotion, most people would call it monotone. Croy didn't know that was my normal tone of voice, he thought I was being sarcastic, and he got angry because he thought I was making fun of him. Croy had pushed his hair out of his eyes and I could see the anger raging in the emerald green, so very different from my cold, emotionless ice blue eyes.

Once he realized Joy was my name his eyes transformed. They became kind and I could see the laughter in them. I wonder how long its been since I've had that look on my face. Before Croy could say anything to me the teacher came in and began class.

Croy ended up being in all six of my classes. Surprisingly, he sat next to me in every single one. Not so surprisingly, I didn't talk to him in any of them. Until our last class of the day.

"Did I offend you or something?" Croy asked, "It seems like you're ignoring me."

Before I could reply an annoying kid in our class decided to butt into our conversation, if you can even call it a conversation."Joy is just a nutcase. Her dad should really get her therapy or something. Ever since her mom died she's been like this. We all think she's gonna kill herself before we graduate," Dexter said to Croy.

"NATE IS NOT MY FATHER!" I shouted at Dexter. I never yelled, I hardly ever talked, let alone raise my voice. I didn't even recognized my voice. I was just as shocked about my outburst as everyone else in the room. I wasn't in control of myself anymore. It was bad enough having them say stuff behind my back, but to say it right in front of me? For the first time I had just let go of everything. I couldn't stand people calling Nate my dad. That man was not my father.

I realized all my classmates were staring at me. I couldn't think, I didn't even realize what I was doing. I just got up and walked out of the room.

As soon as I was past the door I broke out into a run. I had no idea where I was going. All I knew was I had to get away. I couldn't take anymore. I had to escape. My mind wasn't processing what was going on which is why I didn't hear the footsteps behind me. By the time I did it was too late.

When I realized someone was behind me I tried to run faster. However, Croywas too quick. He grabbed my jacket, he only grabbed the end of a sleeve but that was enough. While I was running my jacket began to slip off my shoulders. When Croygrabbed my sleeve my whole jacket came off. I stood there in my t-shirt leaving my bruised and scarred arms exposed to anyone who might be walking by. I was frozen in place by terror, Croy was staring at me in shock.

After thirty seconds that felt like hours I snatched my jacket back from him.

"Did your step-dad do that?" Croy asked as I was putting it back on. I didn't like having my arms exposed.

"Yes," slipped out of my mouth before I could catch myself. That was the worst and most dangerous word I could have said.

What Croy did wasn't at all like I expected. He didn't turn his back on me, he didn't ask questions, he didn't look at me differently, and he didn't go tell a 'trusted adult'. Instead of all those things Croy hugged me. I was so startled that when his arm touched a sore spot on my back I cried out in pain, which caused Croy to jump back in alarm.

Every time I talked to Croy he got me to open up to him. I always answered all his questions, even though Nate warned that he would kill me if I ever told anybody what he did. Spending time with Croy changed me. I talked a lot more, I became more confident, I became more careless.

By the time Croy and I were sophomores I was a completely different Joy. It was about a week before my sixteenth birthday when I yelled at Nate. That was the dumbness mistake I ever made. Nate was angrier than I had ever seen him. He was pissed.

That was the first time Nate didn't control himself.

He didn't care how hard or were he kicked or hit me. As long as he caused me pain he was satisfied. Eventually I lost consciousness. I assume that was when Nate left me in a heap on the kitchen floor.

Nate losing control like he had became a monthly occurrence. He would always beat me unconscious. Whenever I woke up, sometimes minutes or hours later, I would take a shower to get rid of the blood. After, I would check to see how much damage was done to my body. Nate always had just enough control to make sure my bones weren't broken. When I was badly injured I would stay out of school for a few days. Croy always worried most when I was absent. I could always see the relief in his eyes and on his face when I returned to school. Sometimes I would see teachers or other students looking at me like they wanted to say something. But nobody ever asked. If it weren't for Croy I don't know how I would have survived.

Another year came and went. Croy and I became juniors in high school. We were now tried everyday to convince me to go to the police. Everyday I refused. I just couldn't gather the courage to go to the cops. I only had to wait until I turned eighteen, I would legally be an adult and I could leave. I would never have to see Nate again, I just had to make it one more year.

One day Croy told me he wanted to talk to me after school. So, I gathered my courage and called Nate.

"Hey, Nate it's Joy. Uhm, I have a prodject I have to finish for school. Can I, auh, stay in the library to, work on it?" I lied into the phone.

"Be back home to make my dinner for me by six," was all he said before he hung up.

When school was over I met Croy in the student activity center in the middle of the school. When he saw me enter the deserted room he walked over to me and didn't give me any chance say anything.

"Joy, I love you," was the first thing Croy said, "You should really leave Nate's house. I'm really worried about you. You can come live with me and my older sister. Please Joy. Please, how much longer do you think you can endure living with him?"

I didn't know how to respond. I was shocked. My brain was never good at processing things when I was shocked. I said the first thing that came to mind.

"I don't... Croy, I can't," I said.

"Joy please, leave that house, come live with us," Croy said.

But I couldn't leave, not yet. Nate would kill me. I had to wait, when I turned eighteen I was going to leave. I was going to move so far away that Nate would never find me. I could only think of one way to make Croy leave me alone.

"I don't love you Croy," as I lied, I saw the pained expression on his face. I could practicly see his heart begining to crack. My next words were sure to break it completely, "I don't love you, I don't want to live with you. I've lasted this long with Nate I don't need to leave."

I could tell that each word I said was ripping Croy's heart apart. But, I didn't try to fix my lies. I let him believe the awful things I said. I turned away and began walking, if I didn't leavesoon he would see the tears mixing with the blue of my eyes. He would know I lied to him. He would know that I loved him. He wouldn't let me go back to Nate's. He would make me stay with him. He would try to save me. But, Croy didn't know the truth. He let me walk away.

Croy's wasn't the only one suffering because of what I said. I hurt myself just as much as I hurt Croy. I had to protect my life, I couldn't let Nate kill me. Now I wish I hadn't lied, my night would have been so different had I not returned to my Hell.

When I returned to my house Nate wasn't there yet. I decided to make dinner before he showed up. If it pleased him enough I might be safe from being hit. I would have chosen that kind of abuse over what he did instead.

I was stirring the pasta when Nate walked behind me. He put one hand on the side of my waist and the other on the front of my thigh. I could feel his body pressed against mine as he put his mouth near my ear.

"You're so beautiful Joy. You look so much like your mother did when I met her. I provided your mother with a home, food, and a husband with a stable income. All she ever gave me was her body and a step-daughter," Nate whispered in my ear as his hands roamed my body, "Now I provide for you and what have you ever given me?"

Tears where sliding down my face and my whole body was trembling. I could smell the alcohol on him, he reekedof it. As Nate turned the stove off he turned me around so I was facing him. He grabbed a knife from the counter then pulled me into a different room. When I fell onto the bed I realized it was his room. I tried to block everything out as he unbuttoned my jeans. I could feel his hands touching every inch of me as he tore of my clothes. I could feel his hot, sticky breath on my skin. Every time his lips made contact with my skin I wanted to vomit. The touch of his hands on my skin made my skin crawl. When he kissed my lips I could taste the alcohol. Everything was slowly fading away. The groping became less noticeable and I hardly felt anything as he began entering my body. Then everything was black.

When I awoke I was naked on the floor of Nate's room. I didn't even bother look for my clothes, they were probably ruined anyway. I went to my room, grabbed clean clothes and went to the bathroom to take a shower. When I was dressed I went back to my room and fell asleep.

Nate came into my room almost everynight after the time in his room. I hadn't been going to school at all, I hadn't even left the house. He told anyone that bothered to ask I had gone to live with his sister. Nate didn't even have a sister but not many people were really concerned about me. I often wondered about Croy, did he wonder what happened to me? How different would my life be right now if I hadn't lied to him? What if I had listened to him years ago when he told me to go to the police? I couldn't even call them while Nate was working, he put locks on my door and windows.

One night Nate fell asleep in my room and my door wasn't locked. It had been a month since I had been out of the house. I had to try to escape. I had to find Croy. I had to tell Croy the truth. I had to tell Croy everything. I had to go to the police, Nate had to be put in jail. But, I never did have good luck. If only I had realized all of this earlier.

I accidently tripped over a chair that Nate had left in the dark hallway outside my room. I feel down and the crash made a loud noise. Nate was a really light sleeper and I knew I had woke him up. I picked myself up as quickly as possible and tried to make it to the stairs before he caught me. Just before I got to the first step Nate grabbed my hair and yanked me back.

"What are you doing? You think you're gonna get away from me? You are mine Joy," Nate yelled at me.

Then his fist collided with my jaw. The impact sent me tumbling down the stairs. When I landed at the bottom I couldn't move it was too painful. Nate walked down the step staircase and stood over me. It took me a few seconds to realize he had a gun in his hand, it was pointed straight at my chest.

"You think you can sneak out to see Croy? Well, you're never goin' to see your boyfriend again, you little whore," Nate growled then he pulled the trigger.

Just like that Joy was gone forever.

~~~So tell me is it any good? Do I need to fix/improve anything? Be honest and tell me what you think.
This is most likely going to stay a one-shot. I may go back and add more depth and emotion to the story but I don't know yet.
~~~Silver Sky Memories